Fine Arts Update


September Curriculum Work

Curriculum Groups are meeting this month for HS Chorus Curriculum writing. Look for an email if you are writing Chorus Curriculum with specific meeting dates and times.

September 20th Professional Development at FHC - 8am

Elementary teachers in the areas of Music and Art will be spending their PD days with me as we prepare for Common Core and the transition into 21st century learning with our new Fine Arts standards. We will meet in the cafeteria at FHC HS, starting promptly at 8am. Please bring your laptop and power cords.

Secondary Fine Arts teachers will be going through Common Core training with the district CALs (Content Area Literacy Leaders) on the half days starting in September. Each area in Fine Arts will have a CAL or CALs that knows the content in that area and that has been trained in literacy strategies to help integrate Common Core standards in an authentic and meaningful way. The Arts are poised in a very advantageous position with Common Core. Students will benefit greatly from being enrolled in the Fine Arts during this new phase of learning. Teachers will meet at FHC HS with each area (MS/HS Art, MS/HS Music, & MS/HS Theatre) meeting as a group to review, learn, and collaborate. MS/HS Art will meet in room 242. MS/HS Music will meet in room 132 . MS/HS Theatre will meet in room 22. Please be in these rooms and ready to start at 8am with your laptops.

If you have any questions, let me know and I will do my best to answer them.

Mastery Connect

Please be patient as I figure out Mastery Connect along side you. The Content Leaders are doing our best to enter curriculum maps, standards and assessments as quickly as possible but it has turned out to be much more work than one person can handle!

Here are a couple of tips:

  • When using a common assessment that is district wide, the tracker will be created from the curriculum map that I create and share with you. I will also enter the common assessment (Keep in mind this will take some time for me to do.)
  • I am working with Mastery Connect to set up our standards so they align to the areas needed at the secondary level for the studio courses. For now, drag unused standards to the end of the tracker for any assessments you create.

As you determine needs, or need help, please let me know. Using it as often as you do in the classroom will give you insight I might not have. I'll do my best to stay up to speed, and with your help we can figure it out!

Send Me Performance Dates

If you haven't already sent me your performance dates, please shoot me an email with any of your performances this year. (The who, what, where, & when.) I am trying to compile a district wide calendar.


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A Whole New Mind Book Group

Friday, Sep. 20th 2013 at 12:30pm

5373 Highway N

Cottleville, MO

Anyone that is interested, our informal book group will meet again this month after the PD half day on the 20th. We are reading “A Whole New Mind: Why Right-brainers Will Rule the Future” by Daniel Pink - a perfect match for our fine art sensibilities. We will meet casually off-campus at Sherlock's in Cottelville to eat, drink and discuss the concepts presented in the book. It is a quick read and a great way to get pumped up about the concepts we teach.

I am also organizing ‘sense experiences’ to go along with the chapters in the book that allow us to experience what Pink is talking about first hand. This month we are experiencing DESIGN. We will start by becoming design detectives, checking out the design around St. Louis during an architectural walking tour of the arts district in GRAND CENTER. Sign up here for the Grand Center Tour on Sept 14th if you are interested or check out the calendar on the website

Also this month is St. Louis Design Week 9/23 - 29. There is a great event Thursday the 26th, called a Pecha Kucha where design is discussed in an energetic 20 x 20 format. Want to know more? Check out the Design Week website here.

If you are interested, grab a copy of the book and sign up here. Meet us at Sherlock's or join the discussion online at

September Artizens Unite Events

There are so many possibilities for the month of September!

  • Sept 6 - 8: Art Outside at the Schlafly Bottleworks
  • Sept 12: Eat, Drink, Be Creative at the St. Charles Foundry
  • Sept 14: Grand Center Architecture Tour
  • Sept 20: Whole New Mind Book Group
  • Sept 21: Rashid Johnson Artist Lecture at the Kemper Museum
  • Sept 23 - 29: St. Louis Design Week
  • Sept 26: Design Pecha Kucha at the Contemporary Art Museum
  • Sept 27: Fine Arts Happy Hour @ Picasso's Coffee House
  • Sept 28 - 29: Strangefolk Festival Indie Art Festival @ O'Fallon, IL Community Park

Check out the Artizens Unite calendar to see them all!

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Contests & Grants

Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery: Teen Portrait Competition

Artists know that a portrait can communicate much more than a likeness. Personal identity, cultural differences, illusory moments—all can be captured through portraits. Portraits are created in a dizzying variety of media, including painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, video and other time-based media. It may be a traditional, representational work or it may be a more experimental portrait.

Enter the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery 2nd Annual Teen Portrait Competition and get your photo hung at the National Portrait Gallery!

Encourage your students, age 13-17, to express their creativity and individuality in a portrait. Have them enter their portraits in the second annual Teen Portrait Competition. This contest is sponsored by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery and the winning portraits will be featured in an online exhibition. To learn more, and to submit portraits online, go to

The deadline for submissions is September 20, 2013.

School Grant Opportunity – Arts Education

Grant Opportunity to put on the musical "Yes, Virginia"

In support of arts and music education, Macy’s is offering a school musical program that will award $1,000 grants to 100 eligible schools, on a first-come basis, to support their productions of "Yes, Virginia The Musical." In addition, all interested schools can access a digital toolkit which contains the royalty-free script/score and production reference materials. Grant application deadline is September 16, 2013.

Full Details and submit an application here.

Don't Miss the Bus! MAC Grant Opportunity

Transportation Funding for School Trips to Arts Events

Big Yellow School Bus Grant provides up to $300 to help schools meet the transportation costs of educational field trips to arts institutions and activities in Missouri that are funded by the Missouri Arts Council. The grant meets a growing need to help schools fund student field trips to art museums and exhibits, music, dance, and theater performances, which are often eliminated due to the pressures of dwindling budgets.

Experiential learning at cultural institutions is critical to a child's academic development. These visits help foster creativity and innovation, among the most important skills for students to develop today. Big Yellow School Bus is designed to foster partnerships between schools and art institutions so students across the state can explore and experience all that Missouri’s cultural life has to offer.

See more at the MAC website:

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Personal Learning Networks

Professional development and networking are vital in any field, and that’s especially true for educators.

Whether it’s coming up with fresh ideas for lesson plans and classroom activities, seeking mentorship and support from veteran educators, or cultivating resources for technology integration or for meeting state standards, teachers need one another’s expertise.

That’s why working with other educators in personal learning networks (PLNs) has become as important in an educator’s day as the time he or she spends teaching in class.

Who is a part of your PLN? Where do you turn for inspiration and advice?

Michelle Ridlen, K - 12 Fine Arts Content Leader

If you have any questions or need any curriculum support, I’m here for you. Please email me or give me a call.